0135E: Shock and Awe

A friend of mine died.

To be fair, he wasn't an overly close friend. He falls into that general category of friends that I mostly maintain online. Our friendship was defined around the likes of LiveJournal and Twitter, Sailor Moon and other campy gay geeky things.

But he was still a friend - a man with amazing wit and life. He always knew the right thing to say to get a reaction - typically an ironic chuckle or something along those lines.

It's still a little weird to deal with death. But I think it's even harder to deal with funerals and wakes. This morning I made the trek to see him one last time and realized just how little of him I know. Or at the very least, I don't know any of his family so when I arrived I didn't really know who to talk to.

Funerals and related services are such awkward social situations, at least for me. I'm not sociable to begin with and give how death is also stressful on a whole different level, I never know how to handle myself. I think I'm a bit more decent when I'm actually related to the diseased since I'll see family around. But in circumstances like this when friends die, I'm all thumbs.

I end up staying quiet and just taking a seat in one corner as I silently express my last messages for he or she who has passed on. Then I go view the body or urn. Then I sit again. Then I consider how to exit, unless I see someone I know.

That wasn't the case today since I had gone right after work. The only moment of surprise was someone asking if I was a friend - I assume he was Pao's father. I was too shy and uncomfortable to clarify or ask anything else. I just confirmed, said a few words, then awkwardly drifted away. What else could I have said? That I respected how much he geeked out over Sailor Moon? That our conversations sounded like Happy Hour among philosophers on crack?

I'm sorry P, I didn't know what else to do. But based on what you knew of me, I expect you'd understand why. We'll miss you so much. Sorry I couldn't have done more. Sorry we never got around to that drinking / videoke session we kept saying would happen. Sorry for not reaching out more.

Goodbye, P. I hope you're happy wherever you are.
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